The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders

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  • Courtesy of The Highlanders Museum
    A collection of artefacts from the First World War inside The Highlanders Museum
  • Courtesy of The Highlanders Museum
    Find out more about the regiments at The Highlanders Museum, near Inverness

Formed during the French Revolutionary War, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders took its name from one of the most powerful Highland clans at the time. In recognition of its gallant service record, it was Queen Victoria  who decreed that they be known as the ‘Queen’s Own’.

Active:

17 August 1793 - February 7 1961

Type:

Line Infantry

Regimental Depot:

Cameron Barracks, Inverness

Motto:

Pro rege et patria (For King and Country)

March:

Piobroch O’Donuil Dubh (march past in quick time), The Cameron Highlanders (quick) and The Garb of Old Gaul (march past in slow time)

Tartan:

Cameron of Erracht

Origins:

The Cameron Highlanders were raised as the 79th Regiment of Foot (Cameronian) Volunteers at the height of the French Revolutionary War by Alan Cameron of Erracht in 1793. It went on to serve in many conflicts around the world including the Dutch Helder Campaign, the Napoleonic Wars, including the final battles of Quatre Bass and Waterloo, the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. 

After returning from India in 1871, the regiment was awarded new colours by Queen Victoria who decreed that they be known henceforth as the ‘Queen’s Own’. Following Childers Reforms in 1881, the 79th Foot became the 1st Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders, the country regiment of Inverness-shire. Stationed in Gibraltar, it was sent to Egypt and took part in the invasion and occupation of the country, serving at the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir. The 2nd Battalion was formed in in 1897 and fought in the Second Boer War as well as serving in overseas garrisons in Malta, Crete, China and India.

First World War

During the conflict the regiment was expanded to 13 battalions, nine of which served in battle. It received 10 battle honours and lost 5,930 of its men over the course of the war with  three awarded the Victoria Cross.

Did you know?

The Gaelic poet Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna wrote many works about his time serving in the trenches with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. Originally from North Uist and illiterate in English, his poems vividly convey the horrors of the Western Front.

Discover the Scottish poets of the First World War.

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